Notes and Editorial Reviews
EMBRACE THE WIND
James J. Pellerite,
Karen Evans Moratz (fl); Lindsey McLennon
, Christine Buras
(sop); Amanda Russo
(mez); Mason Copeland
(ten); Andrew Rader
(ct); Julian Morris
(b bar); Brian Blume
(perc); Andrew Francois
(va); Cole Tutino
, Rachel Patrick
(vc); Dominick DiOrio
ALBANY 1465 (61:11)
Lone Figures Floating.
Études in Wood.
Prelude to Silence.
Mystique of the Northern Plains.
Song for a Windless Night.
James Pellerite combines his augmented Native American flute tones with the music of other players and singers on this recording, proving that the wooden instrument can be an active participant in various types of chamber music. The augmentation on his instrument allows him to have a full chromatic scale, without which he could not play the full range of classical flute music. Pellerite plays with a slightly wider vibrato than R. Carlos Nakai or Richard Blackhawk Kapusta, but his phrasing is musical and his tone beautifully lyric. Justin Rubin’s
Lone Figures Floating
is a smoothly rendered lyrical piece for Native flute, soprano, and mezzo-soprano. Marilyn Bliss’s
would be great music for a hoop dance. Its percussion recalls nature by imitating the rhythmic warning of a rattlesnake. Her
features a Native flute obbligato over the warm, woody tones of the cello. Selections from Randall Snyder’s
Études in Wood
are played in three places on this disc. Originally written for bamboo flute, Snyder reworked the
for Pellerite’s instrument, adding considerably to their technical difficulty. Snyder, whose music weaves a colorful tapestry, accompanies the Native flute with the commonly heard transverse flute and an alto flute, both of which are played with finesse by Karen Evans Moratz. Some of his short pieces, such as “Plaintive,” are sad while others, such as “Fast and Light,” restore the listener’s mood to thoughts of a happy childhood. In his
, Snyder demonstrates the wooden flute’s versatility as he combines it with Moratz’s transverse flute.
Prelude to Silence
features the Native flute together with soprano, countertenor, tenor, and bass-baritone in a setting of
The Lord is My Shepherd
. It’s a fascinating cross-cultural piece, rather like the folk art found in many reservation churches. David DeBoor Canfield’s
Mystique of the Northern Plains
for Native flute and string trio is a delightfully modern piece of chamber music that could fit into almost any program. Pellerite plays with an excellent chamber ensemble consisting of violinist Rachel Patrick, violist Andrew Francois, and cellist Cole Tutino. In Michael Mauldin’s
Song for a Windless Night,
Native flute and cello accompany soprano Lindsey McLennan as she sings the soulful verses of New Mexico poet Peggy Pond Church. John Heins’s
evokes the mysteries of the elusive Northern Lights as well as images of the Thunderbird whose beating wings bring thunder and wind to the world. Philip Parker’s
for Native flute and percussion is a serious piece about life in the Southwest. Rain means food and life for animals and humans; without it nothing can stay alive. The music on this disc is new and fresh. Much of it packs an emotional wallop and it deserves to be heard by lovers of both Native American and classical music. Pellerite and his fellow musicians communicate a wide range of emotion on a disc that features clear, pristine sound. I enjoyed this recording immensely, and I think readers will want to own it.
FANFARE: Maria Nockin
Works on This Recording
Prelude to Silence, for Native American flute by Ray Friendly
James J. Pellerite (Native American Fl.),
Christine Buras (),
Julian Morris (Bass Baritone),
Mason [Tenor Vocal] Copeland (),
Andrew Rader ()
Length: 6 Minutes 36 Secs.
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